Early Settlers - Part II
Extracted From
Chapter VII
Early history of the town of Hopkinton :
history of East Village (Nicholville) and vicinity,
diaries of Elisha Risdon and Artemas Kent,
soldiers of the Civil War,
genealogical record of sixty of the pioneer families

Carlton E. Sanford
Boston: Bartlett Press, 1903

[Transcribed by Dave Swerdfeger]









SETTLEMENT OF THE TURNPIKE SOUTHWEST TO THE PARISHVILLE BOUNDS.


REUBEN POST

came to town in 1804, but his family did not till the next year. He purchashed Mechanic Lot number eight, which was a strip of land from Chittenden's store east one hundred and sixty rods, and about twenty rods deep north. This was called his "home lot," as I learn from the draft of the deed, by Mr. Hopkins, of the village Green, in 1809. He took title to this and a hundred-acre tract immediately south of Eliphalet Brush's farm, September 15, 1804. In 1808 he bought the present Truman Post farm of Joseph Armstrong. The old map of Mr. Hopkins shows that this tract was first "booked" to Isaac Sheldon. Undoubtedly, Mr. Armstrong bought his betterments. Mr. Sheldon did not stay in town long. Mr. Armstrong also at once purchased a strip on the north, thirty rods in width, off the west side of Mr. Hopkins's tract, and adjoining Mr. Risdon on the east, to enable him to get from his farm to the Potsdam road, which was then the only road he could reach, the Turnpike not having been cut out till 1809. On the north end of this strip, and on the road, a log cabin was built, in all probability by Mr. Armstrong. Mr. Truman Post is quite certain that his grandfather did not move to this cabin, but built a small frame house at once on the cutting out of the Turnpike and moved directly to it. This cabin is still standing and occupied by the tenant. It can be faintly seen in the background of the picture of Truman Post's residence. Mr. Risdon married Amanda, daughter of Reuben Post, in August, 1811, and moved into the log house on the Potsdam road, where he lived till 1825. Mr. Armstrong, on selling out, left town and I get no trace of him.


REUBEN POST, Sr.

was one of the most active and public-spirited men in town. He was killed by the falling of a staging while building the old stone schoolhouse in 1815, an account of which is given by Messrs. Risdon and Kent in their diaries.


ARTEMUS KENT

took up thirty acres, the west part of lot number forty-one, on south side of Turnpike, across the road, or southeasterly of the Reuben Post residence, in 1809, which he developed into a fine farm. The present house and most of the buildings were built by him. Mrs. Mary Chittenden, widow of Asahel, purchased it about 1870, and she and family held it for a time. It is now owned by G. T. Smith.


JOHN HOIT

whose account opened in 1807, must be the same John Hoit who a few years later settled in Parishville and married Polly Green, sister of Mrs. Judge Sanford, the father and mother of Joel and Loyal Hoit, late of Parishville. I do not learn where he lived in Hopkinton or that he ever took title to any land in the town. He was one of the charter members in the organization of the Baptist Church in the schoolhouse near Caleb Wright's, September 10, 1808.


IRA SMITH

who married Lucy, daughter of Reuben Post, built the small house across the road from Mr. Post's. A little flatiron piece of Mr. Post's farm crossed the road, and it was on this that he built. The place was afterwards held by Cornelius Winne, and is still called the Winne place. Mr. Smith moved into Stockholm and from there in 1841 to Dresden, Ohio, and from there in 1850 to Reedsburg, Wis where several of his descendants reside.


JOB GREENE

took title to the south half or part of lot number forty-three, situate on the north side of the road, and next west of Reuben Post's farm, in 1806. It took in the Big Hollow and extended west on the Sanford road some forty rods. The grandfather of Henry C. Greene, who settled on the Loren Smith farm in 1817, was Job Greene, and I am disposed to believe that it was he who took up this lot. He conveyed the lot of forty-five acres to Rufus Crossman, August 13, 1810, and he to Asahel Kent, March 7, 1829. Mr. Crossman's name does not appear in the census of 1814 or 1821, nor do I meet it elsewhere. There are still some stumps of apple trees on the north side of the road just west of the Big Hollow. Mrs. David Daggett, who was a daughter of Henry C. Greene, has a very faint recollection of there being a log house there and of being told that her father stopped there for a time when he first came in. Mrs. Harriet (Abbott) Adsit, born across the road in 1820, has no recollection of even seeing the ruins of or of hearing of a log cabin at this place. However, I have a notion that Job Greene built his cabin there. He had dealings with Mr. Hopkins in 1807, and is put down as a freeholder that year.


ELISHA RISDON

who married Amanda, daughter of Reuben Post, moved over from the Potsdam road to the farm just west of the Big Hollow in 1824 or 1825. His brother-in-law, Samuel B. Abbott, lived there in a log house on the south side of the road from 1814 to the time of sale to Mr. Risdon. He bought lots sixty-six, sixty-five and a few acres in the northeast corner of sixty-four, on which to build and get to the road. The old maps show that lot sixty-five was first booked to D. Sanford, who I feel sure was Judge Sanford's brother, though he never lived there. Lot sixty-four was booked first to Silas Lamb and one Rockwell. Mr. Risdon was the first to take title to the farm which extended east to the Peck road. Mr. Risdon built a small frame house there in 1829 or 1830, as I learn from the fragment of a letter to his father in Richmond, N.Y written February 19, 1831. After speaking of his poor health he wrote, viz.: I attend to my cattle. I am wintering a horse, a yoke of oxen, eight cows, ten yearlings, six calves. I believe I have mentioned in a former letter that I had built a small frame house, which is much more comfortable and convenient than our old log house. The only frame house he ever had was on his place on the Turnpike, and this letter is proof that he built it. Inferentially it is also proof that prior to building it he had lived there in a log house. No one living can recall the old log cabin or even its ruins. He made several additions to the frame house and built several barns just south. On his death it passed to his son, E. Harmon, who lived there a few years when he moved to the Asahel Kent place in the fork of the roads, where he continued till 1870, when he went to Webster City, Ia. His sister Mary, widow of A. H. Chittenden, lived on the old place some years following 1860. The house and all the barns were taken down some twenty years ago. The ruins of the cellar and old fireplace over the wall just back of the door-yard trees are plain to be seen.


ASAHEL KENT

bought and built on the point made by the junction of the Sanford road with the Turnpike in about 1814. He was a brother of Artemus in the village and of Moses a little west on the Sanford road. He married for his second wife Mrs. Charlotte Sheals, the mother of John and William Sheals, Mrs. Harmon Risdon, Mrs. Stephen Wescott and Mrs. Porter Robinson. His farm was the hundred acres on the north side of the road first taken up by David French to which he, Kent, got title January 30, 1814 and forty-five acres of Job Greene. The house and its additions finally reached nearly across the point to the Sanford road. Mr. E. Harmon Risdon moved over there under an agreement to care for him and have the farm, which he did. Mr. Risdon sold the farm in 1870 to Mr. V. A. Chittenden, and he to George Smith. It is now held by Royal Smith, his son.




WESTERLY PART OF TURNPIKE.

I have found it impossible to learn the first settlers of many of the farms with certainty, along the west part of the Turnpike. The maps of the Short Tract do not in many cases give the same name as owner as do the records at the county clerk's office, from which fact it is apparent that names of settlers were placed on the map who did not succeed in becoming owners. There are many vacant old houses or rather holes in the ground where once were homes along the roadside, due no doubt largely to the great deterioration of the soil, some of which has become a desolate waste. I get a good part of the history of this road from John A. Harran and Mr. and Mrs. Fullom M. Corwin.


HENRY C. GREENE

a brother of Mrs. Judge Sanford, took up the front part of what are known as the Loren and George Smith farms on the south side of the road next west of the Elisha Risdon farm and also all of the tract between the Sanford road and Turnpike west to the Joel Peck farm, excepting one acre and a half, the very point of such tract which was taken by Asahel Kent. He had in all one hundred and sixty-three acres, and he took title in 1817. His first home was a log house which he built. He later built the present house or the main upright part. His wife "put out" two sticks in the yard which took root and became great poplar trees. He deeded the west part of that between the two roads to Stephen R. Witherell, excepting six acres in the southwest corner which went to Mr. ---- Peck. On May 8, 1832, he conveyed the two Smith farms and what lay between the two roads north of them to Hosea Brooks, father of Erasmus D late of Potsdam. Mr. Brooks sold to Josiah Smith in about 1833, though I notice he deeded to Darius E. Kent in 1841. However, Mr. Smith held it and finally owned it. On his death his son Loren took the west part of the farm and buildings where he has ever since lived, and his son George took the east part where he built and lived till his death. Meribah, daughter of Mr. Greene, who became Mrs. David Daggett, born in 1815, is living with her daughter, Mrs. Vance in Potsdam, and is a bright and kindly old lady indeed.


STEPHEN R. WITHERELL

as already stated, took the next farm west, buying that part of the farm on the north side of the road, where were his buildings, from Mr. Greene. The farm has been in his family ever since, though rented for some years, and is now owned by his son Edwin. The next habitation was a little west on the south side of the road in the hollow near the brook, all trace of which is long since gone. I do not learn who lived there.


JULIUS PECK

took the lot next west of Mr. Witherell on north side, where he built a sawmill which was in use for some years. He died some forty years ago. His widow married a Julius Peck, who is now an old man and blind. The old mill has gone sadly into decay.




THE OLD RED SCHOOLHOUSE.

The old red schoolhouse stood and stands just across the brook, a few rods west and on the north side. It was built, as I learn from the diary, in the spring of 1848 by Lyman Page of Nicholville. For many years it had a good attendance, with often a select school in the fall. Religious services were often held there also. The first schoolhouse, according to the best information I get, was of log and stood a little west and on the south side of the road, at or near the top of the hill. Mrs. Lucetta (Abbott) Peck of Potsdam taught school there, but cannot say further than that it was a log building. A slab seat or bench was against the wall on three sides of the room, sawed side up, with a slab, sawed side up, for a desk. Mrs. Edna Crosley attended there when a child and gives me these particulars. Religious services were held in this old schoolhouse more or less for years.


ISAAC SNELL

took up the tract across the road from the schoolhouse, with his house a little back from the road. The farm passed to his son Milton, and is now owned by J. K. Rhoades. He was a blacksmith and had his shop on the road opposite the schoolhouse, near the brook, with a frame outside for lifting oxen for shoeing.


EBENEZER SQUIRE

had a log cabin just west of the schoolhouse on the north side. Reuben Peck lived there after him and also Asa Moore, who lost his leg. Whether Mr. Squire was the first I cannot say. Nothing is left of the habitation now.


SIMEON YOUNG

lived a little west on the south side in a log cabin. He was followed by Porter Pierce and he by Asa Murray.


ALBERT S. HARRAN

took the next tract west on south side in 1834, where he built a log house and later a frame one. It passed to his son John A and from him to Arthur Sampier, who now owns it. John A. Harran some thirty years ago bought the Hopkins farm on the south side of the road in Hopkinton village. He was a large, intelligent man and in every way a good neighbor and citizen. He suddenly died in his home in the summer of 1902.


DAVID FISK

had a log house across the road from Mr. Harran. George Wilkinson, who was a tailor, lived there after Mr. Fisk. His daughter Hannah married Sumner Sweet of Nicholville. His other children were Martha, who married Mr. Alonzo Rhoades; William of Nicholville, and George, who was lame and died; Mary, who married Porter Pierce; Harriet, brought up by Dr. Sprague, married a Mr. Williams of Vermont. Mr. Harran bought the farm.


JOHN LEACH

father of David, took a tract in 1835 next west of Mr. Harran on south side, where he had a log house, all trace of which has gone.


SAMUEL CLARK

had a log house on the north side and a little west of John Leach. The Naylor family lived there after Mr. Clark, though Mr. Naylor only came now and then. They were followed by Rufus Greene, who, I learn from the records, took title. He had a large family of bright children. They were, so far as I learn, William, Ira, Jane, who married Darius E. Kent; Mary, who married John Leach, Jr.; Robert and Melvin. David Leach acquired the farm and lived there till his recent death. It is now held by his widow, with Carlos Colton in charge.


RUFUS GREENE

came from ------, Vt and took the tract next west of John Leach on the south side. His wife was Jane Wood, and they had nine children: viz Pliny, who died in California; Jane, who married Darius E. Kent in 1842; Melville, who died at Racine, Wis.; William, Lucius, Ira, who died in Missouri; Charles, who died in California; Mary, who married John Leach and now lives at Havana,start N.D.; and Robert, who died at Racine, Wis. All are dead except Mary. William S. Howe bought it in 1848. He lived for a time in a log house. It was so old and cold that he spent several winters in the house in Hopkinton village which he had first bought. After a time he built the present buildings which stand back from the road. He sold out some thirty-five years ago when he built a brick residence in Parishville village where he now resides. His children were and are Daniel, of Wichita, Kan.; and Ella (Mrs. P. H. Smith), of Brooklyn, N.Y. Nelson Gardner and Jeff Rowell have held it since.


JESSE MOON

took the tract next west on south side. He sold to John Smith, who acquired the first title. It passed to his son Josiah, and is now held by John Ramo. Mr. Moon and Nanthaniel Baldwin built a sawmill on the rear end of the farm, which was run for some years with indifferent success owing to a shortage of water.


LEWIS RICHARDSON

had a log house on the north side, a little west of Mr. Smith. David Leach lived there at first before buying the place next east. Nothing remains to denote its once existence, and the land about is cheerless indeed.


BARNEY MOON

had a log house on the south side, just over the "Pinnacle," which the rise of ground at this point was called. I see that D. E. Kent got the first title. He sold to John Cutler, who built the present frame house. In digging his well he had to go down fifty-two feet to reach water. His children were, so far as I learn, Emma (Mrs. John A. Harran of Hopkinton), Manilla (Mrs. Roswell Andrews), Silas, deceased, and Harlon of -----. The place is now held by Silas Rockwood.


WILLIAM G. RICHARDSON

took title to seventy-nine acres across the road which is now pretty nearly a sand waste. He died there and the buildings have all gone.


WILLARD SMITH

took the place west of Mr. Cutler and of the road leading south. Amasa Hurlbut took the first title to it. George Kimball also lived on it for a time, when Dyer Hazen bought it years ago and now holds it.


JOSEPH BROWNELL

took a contract to the tract across the road in 1827. His cabin stood near the brook. I learn from the diary of February 21, 1837, that Mr. Brownell sold to Mr. Wing, and he to Jacob R. Norris, and he to John Moffit. Mr. Norris married Mrs. Rhoda Wing and went to Ohio, where he died. Mr. Moffit was considerable of a preacher and belonged to the sect called Christians. Nothing is left of the old home.


E--- N. HOBABT

was the first to take a contract of what for sixty years has been known as the Hazen farm. I feel sure that Deacon Abiel M. Hobart lived there also, though I do not know what he was to him. He sold out to Jehiel Austin, a Methodist minister, who took the first title to the farm lying on both sides of the road. The diary speaks of Mr. Austin paying on contract taken out by Mr. Hobart. Mr. Austin built the present stone house in 1847 or 1848. He sold the place to Jedediah Hazen. On his death his son Owen held it for some years. It is now held by his son-in-law, John Conlin.




SCHOOLHOUSE IN HAZEN DISTRICT.

In 1850 and prior and later a frame schoolhouse stood in the corner made by the road leading north and on the east side of that road. I can remember of going to school there when quite young, and of how coarse, rough and tyrannical were some of the boys a little older than myself. They frequently stole my dinner and would eat it, or a good part of it, in my presence, and then jeer and laugh at my tears and bitterness. And yet some people maintain that we come into the world divine and good, and that all our meanness and deviltry are acquired. There has been no school there in many years and the building long since disappeared.




DIGGING FOR GOLD UNDER A SPELL.

Somewhere about 1850 some half dozen men in this neighborhood somehow got it into their heads that there was a large quantity of gold or silver, I forget which, buried a few rods down and on the east side of this road leading north. They met there at divers times and faithfully and patiently dug for it in that stony soil. They had the delusion that if any one should speak after they had begun and while digging, that the treasure would vanish and all their hopes be blasted. My father, happening by one day while they were at work, and knowing the solemn injunction under which they labored, and looking upon it as ridiculous, determined to break the spell by making one of them speak. He sat in the buggy and watched them digging just over the road fence for a moment when, calling one of them by name, he said, "Your wife wants to know if you are coming home to dinner." Forgetting himself, he replied, "Yes, right away." At this all the men with sad and solemn mien shouldered their tools and left for their homes.

Father guyed and laughed at them, as only he could do it, but they heeded him not. It was mighty serious business with them. Isn't it strange and singular what delusions possess us every now and then, nineteen hundred years after Christ's coming? Somehow the human mind seems capable of, or should I say prone to, strange and even wild hallucinations.


LEMUEL LEWIS

built a log cabin on the north side in the hollow near the old mill pond. Many others occupied it as tenants, among them a Mr. Frank Lashua. It stood till 1870 or thereabouts. The gate was here leading to the sawmill a little back and a few rods down the brook. The mill was built by Judge Sanford in about 1848 and run until 1860 or a little later. His son Jonah bought it and the land about and run the mill to a very limited extent.




AN EXPERIENCE WITH AN UNBOUND LOAD OF LUMBER.

I can remember going there to get some lumber when a small boy with quite a spirited team. I am sure it was in 1861, which would make me fourteen past. My brother Silas was my assistant. The last load was a small one, consisting of boards, plank and scantling, and as a shower came up we hurried away without binding them, thinking they would ride all right. They did for the first half of the distance home, as the road was sandy, keeping the tugs taut and the horses forward and away from the lumber. On getting down to the Gideon S. Abbott place (now Orman Beecher) the road became harder and the decline greater. In holding the horses back the off one frisked greatly and I saw at once the trouble. The loose plank and scantling had rattled about and worked ahead so that they touched the horses when held back. I was then on a stony, gentle decline and did not dare to hold them up. At the foot of this I could see a few rods of a level stretch of sand and at the other end of it a very sharp, short drop in the road.

Instantly I saw that our only salvation rested in stopping them while in the sand. Silas was sitting on the hinder end of the load riding backwards and holding on as best he could to the bobbing scantling. I was standing, fearfully alarmed, and excitedly called out to him to jump off as soon as we reached the sand and to run and catch the off horse by the bit. He jumped off and that was all. Not seeing him pass me as I neared the steep decline I looked back and there he sat by the roadside pulling off his boots. Over and down the hill I went, the off horse kicking furiously and the team running at a mad pace. As he kicked he would hit a scantling or plank which sent the front end of them high in the air and falling outside the front wheel with the end in the ground and the other end on the hind axle, filled the air as you can readily see with plank and scantling. Presently, and quicker than I can write it, only one plank was left of the load. Seeing no earthly use of remaining longer I sat on my feet that I might the better spring, and selecting a grass patch by the roadside, jumped for it. I went rolling in the air and not understanding the force imparted to a body leaving another swiftly moving, I landed in a mass of stone instead of the grass plat I had selected. The team went on some distance when the off horse outran the nigh, turning him into the ditch and over a large bowlder and onto his head, from which position he could not extricate himself. Limping and crying, for I was hurt, I got back into the road and waited for Silas, who was coming on the run, barefoot, with the big finger of each hand in the strap of a boot. Down the road we could see the team piled up. Reaching me, notwithstanding my sobbing and tears, I sternly asked, "Why did you stop to take off your boots ? " "So I could run faster," was his curt reply. That was an idea surely enough, but he did not go far enough in his reasoning. We hurried on, and after much trouble got the horses free, each leading a horse home and with heavy hearts indeed. Seeing us coming, father came out to meet us and after full explanation our reprimand for not binding the load was very mild considering that the nigh horse had a stiff fore leg ever after. No doubt his great gratification at our escape softened his criticism. The next habitation was a log house at the top of the hill on the south side which at last has become a wreck. It had a great many tenants, and among them Asa Newton, who died there, Nathaniel Baldwin, Jr Washington Bessey, etc.


SAMUEL SANFORD

lived on the next place with house on the south side. Whether he was the first to reside there I cannot say, nor do I know anything of him. I do not think he was in anywise related to Judge Sanford. Jonah Sanford, Jr bought the farm and moved on to it in the spring, I feel sure, of 1848, where he lived five or six years and got something of a start. It has had several occupants since and is now owned by Thomas Conlin.


ROLLIN O. SANFORD

built a house On the tract of his father next west in about 1862. He enlisted from there in 1863 and died in Andersonville Prison. The foundation walls only are left.


D.P. ROSE

according to Mr. Short's map, took up the next lot west, known as the Milo Adams place. Since he left it, some thirty years or more ago, it has had various tenants. The house burned and the land is owned by Mr. Conlin. The schoolhouse for this neighborhood stands in the southwest corner of the farm and near the road leading north.


LYMAN OLIVER

lived just west of the north and south road and on the north side of the Turnpike. After him Carlisle Adams. Since his occupancy it has had many holders.


JOHN HART

had a log cabin across the road on the south side. His wife was a good carder and weaver. The diary often speaks of going there for cloth and work in that line. After him came William Oliver, who built a frame house a little farther west. The old log house long since disappeared.


HIRAM PECK

father of the late Corner M. Peck of Potsdam, bought fifty acres on north side of Turnpike, last farm in town, now held by Mrs. D.S. Howe, and moved there about 1817. He was a colonel in the War of the Revoluotion and was at one time a man of means. He lost it and moved to Hopkinton. He died there January 28, 1831. His son, C. Harper, born in 1804, went to Prescott and engaged in the drug business and became wealthy. Hiram H. was a merchant in Potsdam for years, and died in Binghamton in January, 1900, quite wealthy. John W born- on this farm November 17, 1819, was a lame man. He taught school in the Caleb Wright district and then went to Kentucky, where he engaged in the distillery business and became very rich. He is still living. Corner M. was born there March 18, 1822, and died at Potsdam, October 16, 1900. These four boys made it pay to leave the "family nest."




SETTLEMENT OF THE MIDDLE OR SANFORD ROAD FROM THE TURNPIKE WEST.




DAVID FRENCH

whose account with Mr. Hopkins opened March 29, 1804, was the father of the late Ira T. French of Potsdam. He took up one hundred acres, lot forty-four, on the "Sanford road," north side, next westerly of Mr. Greene. His grandson, Charles T. French, says he came into Hopkinton in 1803, and made a little clearing when, tiring of it for some reason, he left it, wending his way through the forest to Potsdam, then just being settled. He very soon took up a tract about midway between Potsdam and Canton, where he settled and prospered. His deed of Hopkinton land is dated in 1803. I am confident that no building, other than a shanty, was ever erected on it. I give this, as the so-called histories do not mention his first settling in Hopkinton, and are quite indefinite as to when he settled in Potsdam. From this I take it he was in Hopkinton in 1803 and 1804 and probably a good part of 1805. Mr. French conveyed the lot to Asahel Kent, January 30, 1814, and he conveyed the west forty rods of it, forty acres, to Samuel Abbott, January 7, 1819. It has been held for many years and is still held by the Warner family.


ORIN ANDREWS

took the north part of the tract next westerly of Mr. Greene, lot number sixty-two, and the east part of lot forty-five, next west of David French. The old map of Mr. Hopkins gives Nathan Peck as the first taker of lot number sixty-two, but E.W. Abbott, Esq of Gouverneur, and George S. Wright, Esq are very positive that he settled on the next lot west, number sixty-one. This map also shows that lot forty-five was first "booked" to Samuel B. Abbott, who gave it up or sold his betterments to Mr. Andrews. The latter's log cabin stood on the north side of the road between the present barn and the brook. No trace of it remains. He later built the present house on the south side of the road. The diary speaks of his wife's death, in 1842, as a peculiarly sad one. Mr. Andrews's mother was the eldest sister of Mrs. Judge Sanford. Reuben H. Freeman, Esq an ocean sea captain, married his daughter Martha, who was a teacher in Mobile, Ala where he met her. She brought him to this farm, where they settled and lived for many years. He was a bright, well-read man and a much better talker than farm worker. He had been so long on the water that he chafed and fretted with the confinement of farming. He took the wrong side in the Civil War, or at least he found great fault with Lincoln and his management, which got him into many hot and bitter encounters with his townsmen. I recall one with my grandfather, Judge Sanford, in the road as he was driving by. They were both great talkers, though Mr. Freeman was a little the more glib. The Judge was a most ardent Lincoln man and war advocate and could not brook much criticism or opposition to a prosecution of the war. Finally they got so warmed up and excited that the Captain said that if he (the Judge) was not so old a man he would twist his nose for him. The Judge, old as he was, knew no such thing as fear and immediately got out of his buggy and challenged him to do it. The wordy contest went on, but the Captain had too much sense in the propriety of things to attack so old a man. He was a well-informed man, and I used to listen to him with much interest on all topics except that of the war. He sold the farm in about 1870 to Jonah Sanford and went to Fergus Falls, Minn where he died recently. The farm has since had several tenants and would-be purchasers, until recently purchased by Edwin Witherell.


MOSES KENT

settled on a small farm next westerly, just across the brook on north side of the road, being the west part of lot forty-five. It was in no wise an extra farm in size or soil, and yet his son, Darius E who acquired it on his father's death, became one of the richest men ever raised in town. His success is a fine example of what can be accomplished by thrift and economy. He was a tall, slender man, quiet and pleasant, a little courtly in bearing and demeanor. Only one man was ever known to get the better of him in a deal, and that was a slick street fakir in Potsdam village, who sold him when living there two plated lockets at ten dollars each, worth probably a quarter of a dollar each. He settled in Westfield, N.Y where he died March 2, 1886. Mr. Kent sold the farm to Hazen Corwin, father of Fullom M and he to his son-in--law, Israel Putnam, and he to Sidney Briggs, who married his sister Lucinda, and from their estate it passed to James Cotter, the present owner.


SETH PUTNAM

came in about 1809 with his all in a pack on his back, and not long after took the tract next westerly of the Kent farm on the north side of the road, lot number forty-six, where he built a log house. On cominginto town he worked a few years for Mr. Hopkins. It was then all about a practically unbroken forest. He and Judge Sanford were fast friends and had many interesting discussions on politics and religion. He built the present house and lived till September, 1864. On his death the farm passed to his son Israel, who died in 1874. It has since been held by his widow, Jane (Corwin) Rockwell, occupied by Fullom Corwin, Lewis Putnam, and was sold by her in 1902 to John Corwin.


NATHAN PECK

took up the tract across the road from Mr. Putnam at an early date, where he built a log house. E. W. Abbott of Gouverneur, George S. Wright and Zebina Coolidge so inform me. He moved from there to the "Peck road." The old map of Mr. Hopkins has his name on the lot next east, number sixty-two, but these men are agreed that the lot he settled on was directly opposite that of Mr. Putnam.




SCHOOLHOUSE IN SANFORD DISTRICT.

The first schoolhouse in this district was a log building and stood on the north side of the road near the east bounds of Seth Putnam's farm, some fifty rods east of the present house. A road was laid out from a point in the highway near this schoolhouse in 1832 south on the west bounds of Orrin Andrews's and east bounds of Judge Sanford's farms to the Turnpike, but I do not learn that it was built nor are there any indications that it was. Mr. George S. Wright tells me that he went south across the fields a mile to this school in about 1835, that Permelia Sanford (Mrs. Brooks) attended at the same time; that one morning while the teacher was at prayers with her head in a chair, Permelia took off her coarse shoes and creeping across the room pinched another girl's ear, creating much amusement, and yet got back to her seat unknown to the teacher. Some years later, but just when cannot now be learned, probably about 1850, a new, small frame schoolhouse was built on the north side of the road, on the Merrill farm and on the east bank of the brook near the residence of Judge Sanford. This was quite a school for some years, having an attendance of over twenty scholars in the winter term. The writer attended school here for some years, and he remembers Adaline Sheldon, Edna Risdon and Miss Desmond as teachers. In about 1880, the scholars becoming so few, the district or a large part of it was united with the Durfey district. The old schoolhouse was sold, used for a barn for a time, when it was taken down or burned when the creamery standing just across the, brook west was destroyed, some years ago. A new creamery was built by Silas H. Sanford on the site of the old one, which is still in use.


BENJAMIN SANFORD, Jr.

a brother of Judge Sanford, took title to the west half of lot number sixty-one, opposite Mr. Putnam, in 1830. The log house built by Mr. Peck or Sanford stood near the present old house which was built by Henry B. Sanford and is fast going to dissolution. Judge Sanford took first title to the east half. In 1840, owing to ill health and other trials, he, Benjamin, sold out and finally settled at Hudley, Mich where he lived till his death, with his daughter, Mrs. Maria Greene, and son Daniel, who is still living. Henry B son of Judge Sanford, lived there awhile, and Lucien Kent after him. Israel Putnam bought it, and Silas H. Sanford got it of his estate and sold it to Seymour Clark, whose widow holds it, except six acres in the northwest corner, which Fullom Corwin bought in 1866 and now holds. Mrs. Rhoda (Moon) Wing-Norris and Isabelle Moon lived with him till their deaths. They were skilled women in the art of weaving and cloth making.


SETH PUTNAM, Jr.

built him a house in the southwest corner of his father's farm at the foot of the hill. He died at sea on his way to California in company with Henry B. Sanford in 1849, leaving a widow and two daughters, Celia and Cynthia, both of whom married and settled in Michigan. Seth, Jr got the money of Mr. Brooks to go to California, giving a mortgage on his farm, which Mr. Brooks was compelled to foreclose. Mrs. Jacob Gould with her son Azro and daughter Harriet lived there some years. Porter Pierce and several others also lived there as tenants. On the destruction of the house and attached buildings by fire on the Merrill place, Mr. Riley, the then occupant of the farm, bought and moved this house over there, which is still in use. Mr. Pierce's children were as follows: Henry, living at Fort Jackson; Ellen, married Plumer Kendrick, died soon after; Seymour, died in 1864; Frank W living at Potsdam; Elsie, married Harlan Clark and went west, where she died; Mary; Sarah, married William Hawkins of Lawrence, now deceased; and Fred, living in ----, Wis.


NATHANIEL BALDWIN

took up at an early date what for over fifty years has been known as the Dyer L. Merrill farm, next west of Mr. Putnam, being the south half of lots forty-eight, forty-nine and the southwest quarter of forty-seven. His deed bears date 1816. He died in 1828, and his son Nathaniel, Jr held it for some years. The son furnished the means and Jesse Moon built a sawmill just back of the William S. Howe farm on the Turnpike. He had a family of twelve children, all of whom had died prior to 1870, as I learn from a title search made by Judge Knowles, except William, Mary and Nathaniel, Jr. (See genealogical record of his family.) In 1845 Mr. Baldwin sold the farm to Horatio N. Barnes. In 1843 Dyer L. Merrill, who had lived for five years previous on the second lot south of Orman Beecher's on the crossroad marked Darius E. Kent, rented this farm with his brother-in-law, William A. Sheals, for five years, at two hundred dollars rental, one-half in cash and the other half in repairs. The following year Mr. Merrill bought out Mr. Sheals and in 1851 purchased the farm of Mr. Barnes. He added to it so that when he sold to Jonah Sanford in about 1865 he had three hundred and sixty acres. In 1858 he built a potato starch factory on this farm near the residence of Judge Sanford, which he conducted alone and with Jonah Sanford as partner till he sold farm and factory to Mr. Sanford in 1865, when he removed to Nicholville, where he and a Mr. Kellogg that year built a large three-story brick block on Church Street, the easterly part of which is used by his son Silas in the furniture business. He later purchased a starch factory in Dickinson Centre and also in Hopkinton village. The latter stood close to and on the south side of the road and west bank of Lyd Brook, no trace of which now remains. Mr. Sanford sold the farm, reserving the fifty acres across the road from his house, to William Riley. He later took it back and sold to Timothy Lary, whose widow now holds it. There was a mass of sheds and barns near the house, all of which with the house were destroyed by fire when Mr. Riley was in possession.


JUDGE JONAH SANFORD

took the tract next westerly of Mr. Baldwin of one hundred and twenty-five acres but on the south side of the road. He selected it in the fall of 1811 and because of the fine spring brook which divides it into almost equal halves. His father had trouble on the hill in Cornwall, Vt to get water and he was determined to get a well watered tract in any event. A memorandum of his life, written by himself, states that he made "a little beginning in the entire wilderness" that fall but did not permanently establish himself upon it till March, 1815. He was back in town the next spring or summer, since Mr. Risdon speaks of his returning to Vermont. The War of 1812 coming on, he served a short time as a volunteer at Vergennes and also took part as a soldier in the battle of Plattsburg, September 11, 1814. At the time he selected the farm there was only a partially chopped or blazed line for a road through that section. His log cabin was built a little back from the present house and on the east side of the present dooryard. I can remember of having its location pointed out. His son Simeon held the farm till his death in 1891, when it was sold to Silas H. Sanford, who, a few years since, sold it to Orlando Hayden. I am unable to state when Judge Sanford built the present house, a cut of which is given. I feel sure it was about 1825. The piazza at first extended across the east and west sides till some years ago, when they were removed by his son Simeon, who built an addition on the rear or south side of the house.


CHARLES GIBSON

was the first one to settle upon what has been and is known as the Jonah Sanford, Jr homestead, now held by Silas H. Sanford. Caleb Wright first selected it and made a little clearing on the hill where the present house stands. He had no neighbors except those a mile north through the woods on the Potsdam road, all of whom discouraged him, telling him there would be no road through that section and so he gave it up, taking the farm where his son George S. now resides, who so informs me. Mr. Gibson built quite a long log cabin with an east and west room a little north and east of the present house. Just when he settled there I cannot state, but it is pretty certain that he was settled there in 1811, since I notice that he was selected that year as overseer .of highways for the southwest district. His deed to the farm does not bear date till the year 1818. He sold to Asa Moon in 1819, and he to Jacob T. Gould in 1841. Mr. Gould sold to Clark S. Chittenden in 1852, and he to Jonah Sanford, Jr in 1853. Mr. Gibson moved to the Capell road in Parishville. Mrs. Permelia (Sanford) Brooks taught school in the east room of the log house in about 1837. Miss Emily. A. Remington, of Ypsilanti, Mich daughter of Stillman C writes me that she and her five brothers and sisters went there to school to Miss Sanford. Mrs. Fullom M. Corwin also well remembers the fact of school being kept there and by Permelia Sanford. In fact she lived in the log house with her grandfather, Asa Moon, for a time. He died there in 1842. Mr. Moon built the north end of the present frame house which is the parlor. The sitting room was then a wagon shed. When Mr. Gould was elected a justice he finished off the shed and added it to his home. Mr. Sanford still added further to it. When Mr. Moon sold to Mr. Gould he reserved the use of the log house till he could build some thirty rods down and on the west side of the north road. He died before its completion. His widow, Rhoda Wing, her children, Charles, Annie, Delia and Isabella Moon, moved into it unfinished, living in the cellar for some time. They got it built finally when Jessie Moon took the title to the fifty acres and gave them back a life lease. Later Dyer L. Merrill became the owner. A Mr. Breed built a blacksmith shop just south of the house, using the frame of the second schoolhouse in the Durfey district for that purpose. The house and shop had different tenants for many years. All trace of both is obliterated.


BARNEY MOON

took the next tract west of Mr. Gibson on the south side of the road. His cabin was on the top of the hill where the turn in the road is made to avoid the hill. The potato cellar with a small mound of stone, the ruins of the fireplace, can still be plainly seen. Mr. George S. Wright is the only person who can recall the fact of this habitation. He says it was called the Moon lot for some years. Title was first taken to it by Judge Sanford.


ASA SQUIRE

took up a farm on the south side of the road opposite the late residence of Lee Eastman, as I learn from the survey bill in 1824 of the road leading south between the farms of Mr. Squire and Heenan Sheldon. Lee Eastman took the first title to it in 1831 with a few acres on the north side of the road from Heman Sheldon, where he built a fine stone house in 1832, which farm is held by his son Howard P. Eastman. Mr. Squire's log house stood on south side of road, some twenty-five rods east of Mr. Eastman's stone house. A hole in the ground and a few apple trees close by remained till some years ago to note that a home was once there. Mr. Squire was a son of Eli, one of the original pioneers, and his descendants are the only people bearing the blood of Eli now living. On selling out here he went up south of Parishville and built a sawmill, which locality became known as "Squire's Mills." His son Rollin went to Minneapolis where he died recently, leaving two sons, C.D. Squire of that city and Roy W. Squire of Philippine Islands. His son James is living at West Bangor, N.Y and has one or two children.


HEMAN SHELDON

was married February 4, 1812, and came to Hopkinton the next week to settle. He took the tract next west of Asa Squire, where his son Ezra so long lived, and eighty acres on the north side of the road opposite Asa Squire's. The date of his deed is December, 1811, which, with the fact that he brought his wife in the dead of winter in 1812, plainly shows that he had been in and built a cabin in 1811. The old map of Mr. Hopkins shows that these lots were first "booked" to Joel Sheldon. He was the father of Heman, Gaius and Oliver, and selected and purchased these tracts for Heman as also those for Oliver and Gaius a little earlier. Her daughter, Mrs. Orman Beecher, tells me that her mother stopped a week or so on her way in with her sister, Mrs. Jasper Armstrong, in her log cabin a half mile east of the William S. Phelps place, while her husband went on and got the cabin habitable. There was then no road through there and so he had to go by the Potsdam road, crossing over through the woods to his tract. He built the stone house long held by his son-in-law, George Rockwood, in 1829. This house and the east part of the farm are held by Isaac Gurley. The west part was long held by his son Ezra when it passed to Azro Perkins, who recently sold it to L. L. Dewey. The old home of Ezra was destroyed by fire some two or three years ago, when a fine new house was built by Mr. Perkins on the site of the old house.




SETTLEMENT OF THE PECK ROAD.

This road starts from the Turnpike, a quarter of a mile southwest of the village, and extends due south for some distance and to the forest. It was backward in receiving settlement. The first farm up from the Turnpike was that of Asahel H. Chittenden on the west side. It was conveyed to him by Elisha Risdon off the rear end of his home farm as his daughter's dowry. Mr. Chittenden built a log cabin there. He sold to Fayette P. Sprague, and he to Harmon Clark, who built a frame house and barn. He sold to Rollin S. Bedee, the present owner.


DR. HENRY WITHERELL

who was a brother of S. Russell Witherell, took up the tract across the road. He came to town in 1837, and went to Waukegan, Ill in 1846. While in town he practised as a physician. He sold to his brother, Thomas D of Depeyster, N.Y and he to his brother S. Russell. From him it passed to his son Edwin, who erected the buildings and still owns it, though held by his son.


AURELIUS REMINGTON

took up the tract next south on the west side. He sold to William A. Sheals, who lived there some years, when he sold to Roswell Andrews. Mr. Andrews resided there till a few years since, when he sold to Barney M. Conlin, who recently died.


NATHAN PECK

settled across the road from Mr. Remington with buildings a little south. Mr. Peck first settled on the Sanford road opposite Seth Putnam's. Mr. Peck and Mr. Remington had some litigation and trouble as we learn from Mr. Risdon's diary. The farm passed to his son Orlin A who held it till his death. It is now owned by William Shonyo. Just south of Mr. Remington's is the crossroad extending westerly, and on the south side in the corner formed by this road is the schoolhouse of the district.


REUBEN AINSWORTH

lived across the road and a little south of the schoolhouse. He was born in Calais, Vt and came about 1838. His children were Bailey, Alanson, Riley, Delmora and Samuel. Alanson married while in town. He afterwards went to Osseo, Mich where he died. He raised a large family. Riley married a Miss Stacy and lives at Nicholville. He was the young man whose fiddling annoyed Mr. Risdon. (See diary.) The daughter died many years ago. Samuel, the youngest, remained in town many years.


DANIEL SYLVESTER

lived just south of the schoolhouse. His children were Luther, Daniel, Ezra and Melissa. Daniel, the son, settled in Stockholm, where he died. He had two sons, one of whom, Leonard W married Mary N daughter of Russell T. Wheelock, and lives at -Woodstock, Vt. The other children, Luther, Ezra and Melissa, have died. The owners of this farm following Mr. Sylvester were William A. Sheals, J. M. Hammond, Harris Farewell and Isaac R. Hopkins, the present owner. The buildings have all gone.


ROYAL T. WHEELOCK

settled on the west side of the road three-quarters of a mile farther south in 1836 or 1837. The road at this time had only been cut and worked as far south as Nathan Peck's. Mr. Wheelock in the following year helped cut it on south to his place and beyond. He was the first man to settle south of Mr. Peck's. Mr. Wheelock came from Calais, Vt where he was born. His home back in the woods was for a time quite a rendezvous for the hunters, among whom was Captain John S. Roberts. Deer were plenty in those days, and it was not an uncommon thing to see a half dozen or more of them in the winter when the snow was deep and food scarce browsing in the slash. Those were severe times indeed, and the privations of many of the settlers were terrible. His children went to school in the old log schoolhouse near Isaac Snell's, a distance of upwards of three miles. The only way to get any actual money was to make black salts. In 1846 Mr. Wheelock moved down into Stockholm, where he died in 1848. His son, Russell T born April 3, 1832, at Calais, Vt having married Maria L. Ober, moved on to a farm in 1857 on the east side of the road near his father's old place in Hopkinton, where he remained till 1865, when he went to Bridgewater, Vt. In 1874 he returned and settled at Buckton in the town of Stockholm, where he still resides, and is a prosperous and useful citizen. His four children were and are, to wit: (1) Florence L born May 6, 1858, who married Lucien Gilbert and resides at Pomfort, Vt. They have two sons, Leon and Walter. (2) Royal T born February, 1861, and died at three years. (3) Mary N born April 11, 1864. She married Leonard W. Sylvester and lives at Woodstock, Vt. They have a daughter, Grace, born July, 1885, and a son, Gerald, born November, 1889. (4) Ada M born March 9, 1867. She married Albert B. Crabbe of Norfolk, and died in ---- 1894, leaving a daughter, Eva. The second child of Royal was Susannah C born in Calais, Vt and died in Stockholm in 1848. The third child was Gideon S born in Hopkinton in 1836. He enlisted in 1862 in Co. K, 60th Regiment, discharged on account of sickness and died February 5, 1863. The fourth child, Levi D born September 26, 1838, has since 1846 lived in Stockholm and is one of Buckton's stable and realiable men. He married, first, Maria Beach, by whom there were two children, Addie, now dead, and Brooks H. He married, second, Mary Clark, daughter of H. J. Clark of Potsdam. He enlisted September 2, 1864, in Co. H, 1st New York Light Artillery, discharged September 30, 1865. Southerly of Mr. Wheelock there were a few settlers, among whom were Antoine Shonyo, Darius Gilbert and Calvin Cutler.





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